Genre: Historical Fiction

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

June 6, 2019 2 Comments Regina

I cannot put it better than Bookpage’s on-point review of Blood Water Paint, but in the spirit of #MeToo, I will share my experience with this novel as well. Blood Water Paint is a vivid depiction based on facts of Baroque artist Artemesia Gentileschi. The story immerses the reader in Artemesia’s daily life and most intimate thoughts. Visceral descriptions of what it was like to be a woman, a daughter, and a female artist in the16th […]

Review + GIVEAWAY (US ONLY): The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by  Kiersten White

Review + GIVEAWAY (US ONLY): The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

December 28, 2018 2 Comments Regina

This past October, in conjunction with Frankenreads.org, I hosted a month of programming centered around Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein at my library. The publisher was kind enough to send us a book club kit of TDDoEF, so we featured the novel as our October Young Adult Fiction for Adults book club pick. Overall, feelings from our book club attendees were lukewarm about Kiersten White’s spin on Mary Shelley’s dark fictional world and characters. The book was […]

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood

June 28, 2018 2 Comments Regina

I love historical fiction novels that focus on women’s history, especially the women’s suffrage movement. If you can believe it, I have met people who had no idea that women were ever prohibited from voting–or how hard women fought to gain that right. Clarissa Harwood’s novel, Impossible Saints, is a passionate portrayal of the internal and external conflicts and ideological forces that women wrestled with in their day-to-day lives during the suffrage movement. Check out […]

Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

May 1, 2018 1 Comment Regina

          Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I used to like this punk band named Anne Boleyn. You should definitely do a Spotify search of “Anne Boleyn” to see all of the musical treasures in honor of her.   This book gets five stars because I had a hard time putting it down. Riveting, like it says on the back cover, is an apt description of the novel. I […]

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

January 23, 2018 0 Comments Regina

“To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.” -Hypatia One of the things I loved best about this book was the use of quotes under the chapter headings. I am such a sucker for this. There can never be too many quotes introducing a chapter or section of a book in my opinion. I also loved that the author’s use of quotes to introduce/capture […]

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang A Witch #2) by Adriana Mather

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang A Witch #2) by Adriana Mather

November 15, 2017 0 Comments Regina

You can check out my review of Adriana Mather’s fantastic debut novel, How to Hang a Witch HERE. Here is the super awesome book trailer for Haunting the Deep: Sam and The Descendents are back in another spine-tingling, atmospheric adventure. Adriana Mather’s stories appeal to the side of me that wants to suspend reality and languish in a world of magic, ghosts, romance, high-school, and haunted histories. Haunting the Deep was every bit as fun […]

The Gentleman by Forrest Leo

The Gentleman by Forrest Leo

May 18, 2017 0 Comments Regina

“A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil–then recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her.” This is a short and sweet book review. I read this book back in February because I was planning on reviewing it for National Poetry Month (in April), but April was busier than I anticipated. Thus, I am reviewing it now, […]

Worlds of Ink and Shadow ( A Novel of the Brontes) by Lena Coakley

Worlds of Ink and Shadow ( A Novel of the Brontes) by Lena Coakley

March 18, 2017 0 Comments Regina

From the Bronte Parsonage Museum   This is the kind of book that you want to plan a whole photo shoot for. Isn’t the cover fabulous!? Of course, the title of the book is pretty fabulous as well. And that, my friends, is exactly why I went into this novel with a little trepidation. Would the story be equally amazing, creating a trinity of bookish brilliance? I should know better than to ask so much […]

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

February 24, 2017 2 Comments Regina

Ummmm….An actual relative of COTTON FRIGGIN’ MATHER wrote a book about witches. How am I not going to read and like this book?!?! When I started Adriana Mather’s debut novel, How to Hang a Witch, I knew I was in for a spooky-good time. My anticipation was met, and then some, by the end of the novel. Besides being historically on point, this book was a magical mash-up of some of my favorite 90s and […]

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue + GIVEAWAY!!!

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue + GIVEAWAY!!!

February 7, 2017 2 Comments Regina

ENTER TO WIN a Hardcover copy of The Wonder below! US ONLY. Have you read Emma Donoghue’s Room, or seen the Academy award winning film based off of that book? I haven’t indulged myself in either of these yet, but I did recently read Donoghue’s, The Wonder, and I could not put it down. Set some years after the Crimean War, this story unfolds within the confines of a thatch-roofed home, in a small Irish village, […]

The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard by Sherry Jones

The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard by Sherry Jones

October 14, 2016 4 Comments Regina

Sapiophiles unite. Heloise and Abelard are our heroes. Faith. Knowledge. Friendship. Lust. CASTRATION. Thus is the story of Heloise and Abelard. A love story steeped in provocative intellectual sparring and the knowledge of forbidden fruit. If you are a fan of the great and tragic romances of Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, or Tristan and Isolde, then you are a fan of Heloise and Abelard: star-crossed lovers whose characters were crucified for the love […]

ARC Review: The Architect of Song  by A.G. Howard

ARC Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

August 26, 2016 0 Comments Regina

*Sings in A minor to my Russian Blue cat using an operatic voice, “Why? Whhhhyyy didn’t I love this book- the book release of my obsession!?!?”* When I saw the cover of A.G. Howard’s newest novel, The Architect of Song, I instantly coveted it. So, obviously, I was thrilled when I received a digital ARC for review. Despite my excitement for the novel, I made sure not to raise any ridiculous expectations that might ruin […]

Upcoming Release: Girl in the Afternoon by Serena Burdick

Upcoming Release: Girl in the Afternoon by Serena Burdick

June 30, 2016 0 Comments Regina

  Belle Époque Paris. Three words that will sell me on a book in a heartbeat. The opulence of fashion and architecture. The richness of artistic and intellectual life. The idea of “The Salon” and sparkling soirees that lasted until the morning sun lit the sky a color to match the Perrier Jouet in party-goers crystal flutes. BELLE EPOQUE PARIS. YES. The setting of Girl in the Afternoon lived up to my expectations of Paris […]

Midnight in Berlin by James MacManus

Midnight in Berlin by James MacManus

June 20, 2016 0 Comments Regina

This book goes beyond capturing the music, fashion, and style of the WWII era and paints a picture of the chaotic attitudes, theories, failed diplomacy, and missed connections that contributed to the start of the world’s bloodiest war to date. The tone of the novel is serious and the author does an excellent job of capturing the psychosis and sexism of not only the Nazi party but the culture in general. Pre-Nazi party, Berlin was […]

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi

June 8, 2016 1 Comment Regina

“Set against the golden age of Hollywood, the dark days of WWII, and the swinging ’70s, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem follows generations of unforgettable women as they forge their own paths through times of dramatic change.” – jacket excerpt The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is an absorbing novel that traces the familial and amorous relationships and life-shaping decisions of four generations of Israeli women. “The shop employed several seamstresses who made the clothes according to patterns […]

Summer Reading Abroad: I’ll See You in Paris Review + GIVEAWAY!

Summer Reading Abroad: I’ll See You in Paris Review + GIVEAWAY!

May 24, 2016 3 Comments Regina

I enjoyed this story for the rich bits of history and biography revealed through long-lost discovered correspondence and the two main narrators of the story. The most entertaining character in the book was The Duchess of Marlborough, who tries her hardest to deny that she is, indeed, the duchess. The story does some time hopping as each chapter reveals another piece of the puzzle concerning the duchess and the main female protagonist’s parentage. The pacing […]

The Tsarina’s Legacy by Jennifer Laam

The Tsarina’s Legacy by Jennifer Laam

May 18, 2016 0 Comments Regina

Check out my review of Jennifer Laam’s The Secret Daughter of the Tsar HERE. Catherine Zeta-Jones as Catherine the Great 1995 I enjoyed Laam’s debut, The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, and this follow up did not disappoint. Straddling the worlds of 18th century and 21st century Russia, the author bravely tackles some complex political and cultural issues that very much resonate with topics that are flooding American headlines today. It was absolutely genius how […]

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam

April 8, 2016 0 Comments Regina

Мать Россия!!! A little bird told me something. That Historians secretly love to read alternate histories. I’m here to qualify that secret. We love to read well-written and believable alternate histories. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar almost made me want to change my focus of study as a historian-in-training, and that is saying a lot. These days, I am lucky to finish a book in a week. I finished this one in a few […]

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

March 26, 2016 0 Comments Regina

      “Playing the violin again ignited a permanent glow that I carried inside me, which burned gently and steadily just beneath my breast bone. Before I left Maestro Vivaldi’s house, we agreed I should return at noon in three days’ time, but I knew my frequent comings and goings would not go unremarked upon for long. I was tempting il destino, but I couldn’t stop.” The man, the myth, the legend: Most ears […]

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters Review + GIVEAWAY!

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters Review + GIVEAWAY!

March 11, 2016 0 Comments Regina

Cat Winters takes a brave look into the under belly of the post WWI cultural climate in America and teaches you about all of the things you never learned in history class. History buffs and Shakespeare fanatics will want to add a “Cat Winters Collection” space to their bookshelves. Title: THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY Author: Cat Winters Pub. Date: March 8, 2016 Publisher: Amulet Books Format: Hardcover, eBook Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’ […]

Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett

Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett

January 22, 2016 0 Comments Regina

“Bennett’s sophisticated grasp of historical realities and psychological complexity gives power and depth to what might easily have been a clichéd romance.” – Sunday Times First, let me help you set the mood before starting this sweeping story of revolution, music, and romance. Do yourself a favor and Spotify or buy Anna Netrebko’s Russian Album to steep this reading experience in even more magic. Netrebko brings such rich, velvety tones and mastery of subject matter […]